TIFTON— Valerie Touchstone, an ABAC alumnus who founded her own marketing and public relations agency in Tifton, will be the keynote speaker at the 15th annual Freshman Convocation on Aug. 12 at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College. The 11 a.m. ceremony in Gressette Gymnasium serves as the opening of the academic year as students begin their journey toward a college diploma.
Touchstone, a 1985 ABAC alumnus, founded “The Big Picture” in 2000 after serving for 12 years as the Director of Marketing and Public Relations at Tift Regional Medical Center.
“I had two goals, providing comprehensive PR and marketing services and helping clients understand their own big picture vision for long-term results,” Touchstone said. “A combination of strategy, creativity, and real-world practicality is my trademark approach for solving the challenges faced by clients.”
Besides her associate degree in business from ABAC, Touchstone holds a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism with an emphasis in public relations from the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Georgia, and a Master of Science in Communications Management from Syracuse University.
“Digging deep to understand the core issues a client is facing, then working with my team to develop a creative solution that delivers results is still my favorite part of what I do,” Touchstone said. “It’s a lot of fun to develop an idea and see it through to fruition.”
When she’s not reading articles or books to spur new ideas, Touchstone enjoys cycling, yoga, trying out a new recipe, or embarking on a travel adventure with her husband, Kevin.
Touchstone will venture into a new field this fall semester when she teaches a social media marketing class for ABAC students.
“I’m really excited about serving as a part-time instructor at ABAC’s Stafford School of Business,” Touchstone said. “I’ve had so much fun preparing materials. I can’t wait to get started.”
Fall semester classes begin at ABAC on Aug. 13.